Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Memorial Day Weekend?


A Mother's Day gift.  : )

My goodness.  How can this be?  Memorial Day weekend already!  We never travel on holiday weekends.  We prefer the comfort of home - frantically driving with everyone else to get to wherever it is we're supposed to get to doesn't appeal.  Here in Minnesota, we're known for our "cabin country" up north and for a lot of people this is the weekend to open up the cabin and get things ready for the summer.  We take advantage of the holiday weekend by relaxing, resting, reading, and then top it off on Monday with a picnic (mostly in our backyard).  We also take the time to put flowers on the graves of my uncle who served in WWII and got a purple heart for his service and then we put flowers on my husband's parents graves as well.  It is definitely a time of remembering those who have gone before us - especially those who served and those who gave their lives for this country.

Well, it has been a busy month with all the outdoor work.  My allergies are at an all-time high so I've been very miserable.  But there is no way that I can stay inside until they subside so I put up with the itchy, watery eyes; the constant sneezing and blowing my nose; and, the not being able to breathe through my nose.  Other than that, I'm just fine!!!!!  : )  LOL  They are getting a little better so I'll just hang in there.

I hope all of you had a happy Mother's Day.  It can be an emotional holiday depending on what your circumstances are/were.  Surprisingly, we were invited over to our son's house and we had brunch after church, played a game, had dessert, chatted, and then called it a day so that our daughter-in-law's family could come over and have time to celebrate with them.  : )  In the photo above, was my Mother's Day gift from our son.  He made it for me (which I love!) for one of our gardens.  It was a pleasant surprise as I love anything that I can use outdoors.

On to my post!  Here it goes.  


I finished "The Blue Castle" by L.M. Montgomery:

If you want a page-turner kind of book, this is one.  I had read this before but pretty much forgot what it was like.  This isn't a children's book but a high-schooler could handle it (again, being a parent it would be wise to read it first and then you decide for yourself as only you know what your child can or can't handle).  It's not inappropriate in any way but it's pretty intense.  It's a story about how toxic relationships can really harm you - even if they're in your own family.  It's a story about how sometimes people call themselves Christians but are not - rather they are pious and are not at all Christ-like.  It's a story of unexpected true love and a happy ending (which we all want).  I highly recommend this book and if you read it, please let me know what you think.

I'm reading "John Adams" now which is a huge biography so I know I won't be done anytime soon.  All I can say at this point is that I'm enjoying it very much and reading history reminds me that there really is nothing new under heaven.  The things that they dealt with back then are the same things that we deal with today but you could definitely see God's hand in protecting this country back then.  Now?  I'm afraid we can only pray for His mercy.  God is faithful but we can't keep testing His patience - God will not be mocked.

The pretty teacup is another thrift store find with beautiful violets on it and instead of tea, it's holding coffee because with pie I need to have coffee!!!!

The pie is our favorite Rhubarb Custard pie and it's delicious and I'll share the recipe below!



1, 9-inch pie shell

Pie filling:

1 1/4 cups sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
3 Tbsp. flour
2 eggs, beaten
4 cups rhubarb, chopped into small pieces


1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup butter
1 pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Stir together the dry ingredients for the filling.  Stir in beaten eggs, then add the chopped rhubarb and mix all together.  Pour into unbaked pie shell.  Mix the topping ingredients together until crumbly and sprinkle over the rhubarb filling.  Bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees. Enjoy!!!!!  SO good with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side.  YUM.  : )


I'm still working on my stitchy projects.  Right now I'm working on a Patriotic stitch for Memorial weekend.  Once again, it's a Pinker n' Punkin design and I'm pretty much following the pattern but will probably change it here and there.  It's called Sarah Jane's 1776 Saltbox and I'm doing it on 14-count Aida by Zweigart in the color "Mist" and using the called-for colors in DMC floss.  It's a fun stitch and I'm hoping I'll finish it this weekend.

Sorry it's so wrinkled - the fabric looks white but in reality it is a pale blue.  Again, it's still a WIP (work in progress - I'm getting quite good at learning all the stitchy lingo!).  LOL

I'm still embroidering as well so I'll probably show that in my next post.


I just finished up 1 Corinthians and would like to insert a few more verses from this book in the Bible that I hope will be encouraging to you.

*"Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others."  1 Corinthians 10:24

*"Love is patient, love is kind.  It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres."  1 Corinthians 13:4-7

*"The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.  But thanks be to God!  He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."  1 Corinthians 15:56-57

*"Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm.  Let nothing move you.  Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain."  1 Corinthians 15:58

*"Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong.  Do everything in love."  1 Corinthians 16:13-14

I will pretty much say this at this end of every post, but salvation is THE most important thing in our lives.  We will either spend eternity in heaven or in hell.  I know that doesn't sit right for a lot of people who think that eventually everything will work out in the end.  That is not true and that is why I hope that you will give your life to Jesus right now.  That you will stop reading this and ask Jesus to come into your life, repent of your sins, and be saved!  We're not guaranteed that we'll live for even 5 minutes more so wouldn't it be wonderful to know that if you leave this earth in the next 5 minutes you will be with Jesus forever?!  He loves you very much and he's waiting for your decision.

Before I go, I will just give you a few photos to look at of our yard:

After such a brutal winter, this is SO wonderful.  I love to just go out and look at it all and take in all the scents of the flowers and bushes and feel the soft grass on my feet and feel the sun on my skin and clean up areas to make them look pretty.  What a gift!!!!  I'm very thankful and grateful for it all.

That is it for today!  May God bless you as you finish up the week ahead and look forward to a holiday weekend.  Please stay safe, enjoy your days, and I hope to see you soon!




Sunday, May 7, 2023

A Sunday Post


A touch of Spring.  : )

A hello to you!  I hope this is finding you doing well.  We're finally enjoying a bit of nice weather and getting some intermittent rains and everything is popping out of the ground.  SO wonderful to see green.  On Friday I went to buy my herbs so they are all planted and sitting on the front porch and yesterday I spent a good part of the day just pulling out old stuff and cleaning up areas that needed some sprucing up.  I'm all about curb appeal so I wanted to get out there and make it look as nice as I could.  Our grass took a beating so we have patches of topsoil with grass seed on top.  We lost a few branches from our heavy snow last month so there are several trees and bushes that need to be clipped back into shape again.  But, it's all good.  It's what we wait for all winter long.

I've been having trouble with chronic pain lately so I wasn't sure how getting out and doing the yard work was going to go, but I found that it actually did some good.  I was listening to an audio book (The Secret Garden) and when they were talking about getting out to the planting and cleaning up and how the children benefited physically from that I really believe there is something to that.  Now I know that The Secret Garden is fiction, but it certainly motivated me!!!!  : )  And I do believe in the healing effects that working out in nature brings.  

Well, I think I will just get right into my post and see what I can come up with.  : )


As always, I have to have a book to read and/or listen to.  I am reading along with a book club on YouTube and the book of the month is "The Blue Castle" by L.M. Montgomery.  I've already read this book but it's been a while so I'm re-reading it.  We went to a bookstore a couple of weeks ago and I bought "Daniel Deronda" by George Eliot.  I have quite a few of her books so this is new to me and it's a thick book so I think this will be my summer read.  Her books aren't easy to read but that's fine with me - it really stretches me.  And, then, I just ordered two books from Thrift Books yesterday - "Lady Susan" by Jane Austen and "John Adams" by David McCullough.  But this is what I'm reading now:

Last time, I said I wasn't sure that I would keep with the "Miss Read" books because the first one was rather boring, but I thought I'd give another one a try.  The only problem is that I'm out of sequence already.  This is the 3rd book so I'll need to purchase the 2nd.  This 3rd book of the series is rather good.  It's cozier and you get into more characters and there are funny parts and there are very sad parts so I'm glad I tried it again.  I hope book 2 is okay!  The other deterrent is that they aren't inexpensive - even through Thrift Books it's more than I like to spend so, again, we'll see!

The pretty teacup was a birthday gift to me by one of my sisters.  It has no markings on the bottom other than "Made in Japan".  The tea I'm drinking is English Breakfast to go with my Cherry Coffeecake (recipe to follow).


I had actually baked a batch of cookies that I was hoping to share with you but we didn't like them!  And I had made a supper dish that I wanted to share with you, but we didn't like that either!!!!  LOL

So, I'm glad I made this coffeecake because this is a standby for me.  I make it quite often for get-togethers and I hope you can try it as well.  : )  It's so easy to pull together.


1 pkg. yellow cake mix, divided
2 eggs
2/3 cup warm water
2 pkgs. instant dry yeast
1 cup all-purpose flour
21-oz. can cherry pie filling
5 Tbsp. butter, melted

Mix 1 1/2 cups cake mix with eggs, water, yeast, and flour.  Beat for 2 minutes.  Spread into a greased 9 x 13 pan.  Top with cherry pie filling.  In a separate bowl, mix remaining cake mix with melted butter till mixture is a bit crumbly; sprinkle it on top of pie filling.  Bake at 375 degrees for 35 minutes.

Mix together:

1 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp. water
1 Tbsp. corn syrup

Drizzle over warm cake and serve!  : )


I have been working on my cross stitching but I've also been working on embroidery as well:

Sorry this isn't ironed!  This is a Martha's embroidery pattern and they're all different herbs.  And I read about filling in the open areas with crayon!  It's a fun project to be working on.  They will all be stretched on canvas with the ability to be hung up.  I'm working on "Chives" now.  : )

No Etsy shop yet but I'm working on it so hopefully it will be soon.  I'm waiting for help from my son and he's a bit on the busy side right now.  It's okay - it gives me time to work on inventory.  : )

And.....most importantly:


I'm in 1 Corinthians now and I have so many underlined verses/passages that it would take forever to share them all with you so I will go through a few now and a then a few later.  I'm hoping you will open your Bibles and read this rich book that the apostle Paul wrote!  It's as relevant for the days we are living in as it was when he wrote it.

*"For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God's sight."  Chapter 3: verse 19

*"He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men's hearts."  Chapter 4: verse 5

*"Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God?"  Chapter 6: verse 9

*"So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall!" Chapter 10: verse 12

If you haven't accepted Christ as your personal Savior, please don't wait any longer.  Repent of your sins, and ask Jesus into your heart.  None of us knows how much time we have left and to have that blessed assurance that you will live forever with Jesus is everything.  

Well, I will end this post and hope that you will have a wonderful week ahead.  May God bless you in your efforts as you take care of your homes and your families.  Remember to put God first and he will guide your steps in everything!  : )

Thank you for dropping by - I appreciate you all.

Friday, April 14, 2023

Getting Things Done


Lake Superior stones rubbed smooth by the waves.  Can't wait to get up there again!

Hello!  I hope this is finding you well and that you had a nice Easter.  It's astonishing at how fast this year is going already and we are in the middle of April.  After the heavy snowfall, we are now enjoying temperatures in the high 80's which is VERY unusual for us at this time of year.  But those snowdrifts that we thought would never go away have gone and there are bulbs coming up and other touches of green here and there.  I hung laundry outdoors for the first time and I'm beginning to wash windows.  The windows are open all day now and the motivation for getting more things done is beginning to kick in.  : )

So, please sit back with a beverage and hopefully you will enjoy today's post.


I'll begin with the book I've been reading for the month of April.  It is "April Gold" by Grace Livingston Hill written in 1936.  I read this book every April and I'm always sad when I finish it.  If you can find a copy I highly recommend it.  It's about a family who loses everything (including the husband/father) and finds themselves having to live in the slums of their city.  But they try very hard to fix the house up (inside and out) with what little money they have, all the while setting a good example for their neighbors showing them that it doesn't take much to just be clean and tidy!  And since they are a Christian family, they are able to tell their inquisitive neighbors about Jesus and even brings a young man who is associated with a gang to salvation.  And for those of us who loves it when GLH puts a little Christmas into her books, this has a wonderful Christmas scene in it.  It always makes me want to jump right in and sit with them and sing with them and laugh with them.

As I was reading, there was a thought that kept going through my mind and that is when I'm reading and come across certain things such as how they keep house or how they clean or how they cook or how they prepare for holidays and make them so special, those are things that I can emulate in my own home.  Yes, the books are fiction, but why can't we take those ideas and use them in our homes?  It doesn't have to be fiction - it can be real if we make it so.  But also making sure that we know that in books everything seems to come together the way the author wants them to!  And I know that real life doesn't exactly work out that way - stuff happens.  But the practice of hospitality to others, the making sure your homekeeping is a good example to others, the putting of love into your baking and cooking not just for you but for others as well, the work of trying to make the holidays nice.  Again, just putting the time and effort into your home is a joy.  Hard work, but joy too.  : )

The pretty teacup is another thrift store find - since it's Spring I wanted to bring the violets out.  It is Royal Sealy China from Japan and it's filled with Lemon Ginger tea.  The cookies are my "famous" lemon cookies and I will have the recipe below.  

I've also been listening to audio books on YouTube while stitching or cooking.  Karen Savage is my favorite reader of books.  So I've listened to the Anne of Green Gables series only up to, and including, Anne's House of Dreams.  And now I'm listening to Pride and Prejudice and wanting to pull out my DVD's and re-watch it as well!


Whenever I take these cookies somewhere, they get rave reviews.  I'm pretty certain that I've posted this recipe before but it's good enough to post again.  : )  Plus it's just a natural for Spring/Summer.


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Whisk together:  2 3/4 cup flour, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. baking powder, 1 tsp. baking soda and set aside.

Beat till fluffy: 1 cup softened butter and 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar 

Add to this: 1 egg, 1/2 tsp. vanilla, zest of one lemon, 4 Tbsp. lemon juice

Add the dry ingredients to all of this and roll into balls and roll the balls into granulated sugar (I use the organic because the crystals are larger and it gives the cookies a nice texture).  Place on parchment-lined cookie sheet 2 inches apart.  Bake for 8 minutes and let stand for 2 minutes before removing.

SO GOOD!!!!  ENJOY!!!!!  : )


Every day I try to sit and craft in some manner even if it's just sorting through and planning.  I have decided to open an Etsy shop for sure but it won't happen for a couple of weeks or so yet, so I've been trying to figure all that out and getting some inventory ready.  When I'm up and running, you'll be able to see it on the sidebar of my posts.  : )  What my plan is is to break it into Winter designs, Spring designs, Summer designs, and Fall designs, with maybe some Holiday designs as well.  We'll see!!

Anyway.......I finished another cross stitch:

Again, what I do is take a pattern and try to make it my own.  This particular pattern is from Melisa at Pinker n' Punkin Quilting and it's called "Elizabeth Hartline's Saltbox" - Melisa is VERY generous in posting patterns that you can just print out for free.  So what I did with this pattern is use the house design and the vine off to the side, but then everything else I just added on my own.  It is stitched on 14-count Aida in White by Zweigart and I used floss numbers 931, 838, 776, 899, 3346, 3345, 407, 680, 3774, 782, 422,815, 355, and Blanc (white).  It's always so much fun.  I do, however, find that when I'm almost done I get very impatient because I want to get to something else.  I'm not good at patience.  LOL


I'm still in the book of Romans and yesterday I was reading from Romans 12: 9-21.  I won't write out the whole passage (hoping that you will read it for yourselves) but I made a list of bullet points from each verse (and what a list!):

*Love must be sincere.
*Hate what is evil.
*Cling to what is good.
*Be devoted to each other in brotherly love.
*Honor one another above yourselves.
*Keep your spiritual fervor.
*Serve the Lord.
*Be joyful in hope.
*Patient in affliction.
*Faithful in prayer.
*Share with God's people who are in need.
*Practice hospitality.
*Bless those who persecute you.
*Rejoice with those who rejoice.
*Mourn with those who mourn.
*Live in harmony with one another.
*Do not be proud but be willing to associate with people of low position.
*Do not be conceited.
*Do not repay evil for evil.
*Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody.
*As far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
*Do not take revenge.
*Do not be overcome with evil, but overcome evil with good.

WOW!  What a list from one passage of the Bible!  It's a lot to strive for, but strive we must.  Can you imagine what this society would be like if everyone practiced these things?  All we can do is to let it begin with us.  Right now.  Today.  : )

I think that is it for today's post.  Thank you for being here with me - I really appreciate you taking the time out of your busy day to drop by because I certainly enjoy posting it for you!!  

God bless your day/evening/weekend ahead!  Enjoy your family and your homes.


Saturday, April 8, 2023

An Easter Message


So..........when they said March was going to go out like a did not.
Fortunately, starting today it will be in the 60's, 70's, and a shot at 80!  😲

Easter weekend is here!  I just wanted to drop in quickly with a reading from the Bible I had this morning and I needed to share it with you.  It's from the book of Romans (Chapter 9:30-Chapter 10:21).  Here are the points that I paused and gave thought to:

*Paul's desire and prayers to God were for the lost - that they might be saved.  Some people think they are saved because of their zeal, but their zeal is not based on knowledge.  They don't believe in the work of Jesus on the cross.  In last night's Good Friday service, our pastor reminded us that some people regard the cross as foolish!  What, then, is salvation based?  Only on what Jesus did for us on the cross.  Don't be foolish in this.  Believe.

*"......if you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved."  Two things are required of us - CONFESS that Jesus is Lord (Lord over all, over everyone) and BELIEVE that Jesus died in our place and on Easter Sunday he was resurrected from the dead and now sits at the right hand of Father God - you will be saved!!!  Two things.  Don't let everything else be a stumbling block.   Let today be the day of salvation.

*"....everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."  Again - call on the name of Jesus.  He is the ONLY way to salvation.  He is the ONLY One who washes away our sins by cleansing us by His shed blood on the cross.  Don't let anyone tell you that you have to be all cleaned up before coming to Jesus - that simply is not true.  He cleans you up once you've given your life to Him.  Trust me in this - I know this for a fact.

*" comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ."  Read the Bible for truth.  Listen to Bible-teaching pastors.  You can't know the truth until you hear and read the truth.  In these days, we need to know the truth - God's truth.  The things that are happening in our society is based on lies and once you know what God says about all of this (because He is loud and clear about sin!!) you will know how we should be living.

I hope that you will read the four Gospel accounts of Jesus' death and resurrection for yourselves today - (Matthew 27-Matthew 28; Mark 14-Mark 16; Luke 22-Luke 24; John 18-John 22).  Prepare for your typical Easter with family and friends and good food, but prepare your heart as well.  It's where our only hope is found!  😊

God bless and I'll see you soon!

Friday, March 24, 2023

Variety - The Spice of Life


Our ever-funny cat - Boba.  : )

Hello keepers of the home!  Happy Friday.  We are ALWAYS surprised how quickly Fridays come along - the weeks just fly by.  Only one week left in March and it sounds like (around here anyway) it will go out like a lamb.  Thank goodness.   : ) 

I hope this is finding you doing well and that you have had good days since I last posted.  Mine was kind of up and down and everything in between but I know we all experience those times so I won't go into details.  

The title of my post (variety) is what I feel like homemaking is all about and it's the reason I love homemaking.  I truly jump from one thing to another and each "thing" is different.  In the 30-something years I've been a homemaker, I've NEVER been bored.  There are SOME things that I need motivation for because they aren't my favorite things to do, but I just tell myself that they need to be done and I'm the one to do them. : )  Around here mostly I'm just in the maintaining mode - doing the daily and weekly chores - waiting for the time to begin the spring cleaning (especially windows!).  I usually wait until later in April to do that so that it's warm enough outside to keep windows open for longer periods of time.

My routine has changed a bit in that, now, I begin my days in the kitchen.  After I get ready for the day I get into the kitchen and see what needs to be done.  I've said before that our window faces the east so the beautiful sun shines in.  But I first check my fridge and my menus for that day.  If there are leftovers, that will be our lunch (we don't eat breakfast).  If we don't have leftovers I need to think of what we will have - a lot of times it's breakfast for lunch!  Whatever it is, I will do what needs to be done for that meal and then I check to see what I'm going to have for supper.  Does anything need to be thawed?  Is there any prep work I can do now so that I don't have to do it later?  That includes cutting things up, marinating, measuring out any ingredients into separate bowls that I can cover?  Any salad to make ahead of time?  Is it a crockpot meal? Whatever that meal needs, I do it right away in the morning.  I have found that this gives me peace of mind throughout the day and gives me motivation when that meal actually has to come together.  After I do this, I then clean up the dishes and the kitchen and it's ready for the day!

One thing that I'm trying to do even if the weather is still a bit chilly is that I bundle up and go and sit in the sun with a cup of tea.  Every afternoon (if the sun cooperates).  Feels so good and we need that Vitamin D right now!

Well.......let's jump into what I have for you today.  I hope it will be of some help to you.


As you know, it's important to me to have a book in my hand at certain times of the day (my times are usually after lunch and then I love to read in bed).  So here is what I finished:

The first in the "Miss Read" series.

Now, I've never heard of the "Miss Read" books until lately.  I found it to be a book that one would want to read as a comfort book.  It's not a page-turner so when I put it down after reading a chapter, there wasn't that feeling of sadness that I had to put it down and therefore had to wait until I could pick it up again.  This is the first book in the series so I don't know if there will be more substance to the other books.  But that's okay for me.  I was thinking about slowly collecting all the books, but now I'm not sure.  But I don't want to give up on them either.  It takes place in England (which I always like) and it introduces us to the teachers of the "Village School" and it introduces us to the children that attend and sometimes the homes they come from.  Some children are from very difficult homes and some children are from well-to-do homes and how the children work together no matter their differences (imagine that).  It also talks about their outings, the day-to-day school days, and then you throw in a couple of characters that are spunky or outspoken or helpful. I said, it's a comfort book if you like, or need, that kind of book.

The tea that I'm drinking here is Earl Grey - I thought that would be appropriate for an English read and the teacup is a thrift-store find.  It doesn't have the saucer but I thought it was pretty.  And the snack is a "Baked Cinnamon Sugar Donut" and I'll put the recipe below.  : )


I think you know how much I love the baked donut recipes and this one is no exception.  They come out so moist and flavorful.  What I do is to make the mix ahead of time and store it in the pantry so that when I want to bake, that part is done and then all I need to do is add the wet ingredients to it.  Such a time saver and if someone is coming over you can serve something right away - a donut warm from the oven?  Yes!  : )  Here's what you do:

In a zip-lock bag, add:
*3/4 cup flour
*2 Tbsp. cornstarch
*1/3 cup sugar
*1 tsp. baking powder
*1/2 tsp. salt
*1/2 tsp. cinnamon
*1/4 tsp. nutmeg
Attach a label saying "Baked Cinnamon Sugar Donuts" on it and put it in your pantry.

When ready to bake:
*Put the mix into a bowl and whisk it till combined.
*In a small bowl, whisk together:
    *1/3 cup buttermilk
    *1 egg
    *1 Tbsp. melted butter
    *1 tsp. vanilla
*Add this to the dry ingredients and stir till just combined.
*Divide this batter evenly into 6 donut wells in the donut pan and bake at 375 degrees for 11-12 minutes (don't overbake).  Let cool for a couple of minutes and remove to cooling rack.
*While still warm, brush 3 Tbsp. melted butter (in all) over tops, bottoms, and sides of donuts and then dip into 1/2 cup sugar that has been mixed with 1 tsp. cinnamon until well coated.  
*Serve and enjoy!!!!!  So good.  : )

I have been really trying to keep up with good nutrition and healthy foods and learning about Vitamin and Mineral deficiencies in our bodies and filling in those gaps with good foods, but I also know that I don't want to stop baking.  I love providing baked goods.  We just make sure that we don't go overboard.  To me, there is nothing wrong in having a cookie or two as a dessert after a meal or having a donut as an afternoon snack.  I'm not going to stop baking birthday cakes..........

I know that sugar is really a problem nowadays.  I believe we eat far too much sugar but it's also hard to do without and I don't trust sugar substitutes so I'll just get the best ingredients I can find and make sure that we don't go overboard.

The next two recipes aren't food related.  One is for homemade deodorant and the other is for homemade dish soap.  In the past, whenever I've tried homemade deodorant, I broke out so I stopped.  But I thought I'd give it a try again and this recipe is great and there is a secret to it.  Here's the recipe:


In a container with a lid, combine:
*1/4 cup cornstarch or arrowroot powder
*1/4 cup baking soda (this is what makes most people break out, but stay with me)
*10-15 drops of essential oil (I did 1/2 tea tree oil and 1/2 lavender)

Here's the secret.  Before applying this under your arm, rub coconut on your armpit.  Two reasons - first, it acts as a barrier and second, it helps the mixture to adhere without leaving a white residue on your clothes.  I apply the dry mixture with a large makeup brush and, seriously, it works (for me anyway).  I hope you can give it a try and let me know if it works for you.

I'm glad this works.  Because I'm concerned about the not-good-for-us ingredients, the deodorant I was buying at the store was $9.00 a stick and it wasn't even working.  So, I'm very thankful that I came across this.


*1 cup Sal Suds (I buy mine at our Co-op, but you can get it on-line too)
*1 cup distilled water (boil first and cool)
*1 tsp. baking soda
*20 drops of lemon essential oil

Put all ingredients into a bowl and whisk until well combined and then pour into an old dish soap container.  It's that easy and it's very good.

Sal Suds is a bit expensive but you don't need to use much of the dish soap in order to get some serious suds going on.  I just did a quick squirt and that was enough for a sink of dishes.  It smells good and it feels good on the hands.  Again, I'm using ingredients that don't have a bunch of weird stuff in them and this rinses very well and the dishes actually shine!  I love it.  Hope you can try it!  : )


Well.......I'm so disappointed in myself.  Last time I showed you the progress I was making on my cross stitch piece.  In looking at it closer (and once I tell you, you'll be able to see for yourself), I totally goofed up the word "Summer".  I tried to pick it out in order to start over and I didn't like the way the fabric looked afterwards so that is going to be put on hold until I'm over being upset with it!  LOL  All that time and then I had to do that.  Ugh.   But I did begin another one (just not far enough along to show you any progress yet).  

So, I decided to finish my trio of wool applique projects:

Small, medium, and large.  They were fun to do, but I'm glad they're done so I can think of another wool applique!

Between cross stitch and wool applique the past couple of weeks, that's about all I've been working on.  Are you doing anything crafty lately?


I think this is the most important part of my posts and I'm very glad to share the Bible verses that I write down and give me comfort and help.  Instead of giving you another "Fear" verse, I've decided to give you a "Love" verse.  You may not consider it to be a verse about love, but I think it is.  It's a favorite of mine:

*Micah 6:8 - "And what does the Lord require of you?  To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God".

To act justly is to do what is right.
To love mercy is to have pity, compassion, kindness, and goodwill towards others.  
To walk humbly is be brought low.  Not thinking too highly of ourselves.  Where God is exalted, not us.

I pray that we will desire to exhibit these requirements in our daily lives.  To live them out and be good examples to those around us.

That is it for today.  Again, I hope it has been helpful to you.  I certainly appreciate you and I'm very thankful that you stopped by.  Until next time, God bless you and your homemaking efforts.

Mary  : )


Wednesday, March 8, 2023

Enjoying Our Homes


Snowing very softly today. 

Hello ladies!  As you can see, the snow is coming down rather prettily.  It won't amount to much today, but come tomorrow evening into Friday morning we're supposed to get another 6-9 inches.  If it goes over 5 inches it will be record snowfall for a winter in our area.  So, I say, why not go for it!!!  Then maybe it will be done?  I'm glad we're at least in the month of March, but March around here can mean anything so, we'll see!  Oh, well.  I know we're not alone in this so I hope this is finding all of you doing okay wherever you are and as the title of my post says......enjoying your home.

I've been writing list after list these days.  A new list for every new day and then re-writing it after checking a few things off.  Doesn't that feel good?  Working at something and scratching it off the list?  It keeps me motivated.  

I keep going through things as I'm finding that my tastes are changing as I get older and I'm finding that keeping a lot of stuff isn't for me anymore.  What I have in my home is what we truly love and what we truly use, and like everyone...some things are nostalgic. Everything is else is going away.  This also helps when it comes time for daily, weekly, and monthly cleaning.  Less stuff means more time saved.  We have a little house, so I can whip through my cleaning in no time at all and I like that, especially when I want to spend time on other interests.

I spent all morning in the kitchen yesterday.  It was a rare sunny morning and the kitchen window faces east so that beautiful sunshine was streaming in while I worked.  I put some soft jazz music on and just puttered.  This is something that I didn't even have planned so it was a pleasant surprise.  It started by looking at my menus and seeing what I had planned for supper.  The first thing I knew I was going through all my spices - in the spice rack and in the spice drawer - and throwing out old spices and rearranging the ones I had.  Then I went downstairs to the pantry and brought up the new spices to replace the old and then write down what I needed to buy on my next shopping trip.  While going through the spices I noticed that I didn't have many taco seasoning packets or pizza seasoning packets left so I got all those spices together on the counter and made those and they are now tucked in the drawer waiting for our next pizza or taco night.  I also noticed that I didn't have anymore homemade Hamburger Helper mixes left so I made a couple of those.  And, then, I noticed that I had kitted up a homemade donut mix a while back so I thought I'd better make those before the ingredients got too old.  Then to top it off, I ground some coffee beans and put them into an airtight jar so that they would just be ready in the morning to make coffee with.  It was just a wonderful morning and those are the little things that no one else will notice but me (and that's okay).   : )


Like always, I've been reading and this is my book to share this time around -

Not JUST this Nancy Drew book, but the whole series.

I know, I know, how juvenile, right?  No!  Not when you've never read them before.  Not if they're classics.  I'm collecting the whole series and there are a couple of people who know this so whenever they're out and about and see some, they call or text me to see if I want them.  : )  I have quite a few already, but I have a ways to go yet to have them all.  In my quest of getting rid of stuff, books are the one constant that I continue to bring in because I love books and I share books and I re-read books - so, of course I can justify that!  : )

They are a fun read and if you have older daughters or granddaughters, I would highly recommend that you introduce them to this classic.  They are, of course, mysteries.  But I think they are more than that.  They were written with good moral characters.  I love it when the author makes the point of saying that they went to church.  I always have to laugh at how much Nancy can do!  So far (what I've read anyway) she can tap dance, dance ballet, drive a beautiful car, flies an airplane, has the appropriate outfit for every occasion, scuba dives, pilots a boat, knows how to cook, can eat everything and never gains weight, has a mind that can solve every mystery............  It's just something light and fun to pick up.  

The cup is from a friend who moved away from this area years ago but we still try to stay in touch.  She sent this to me one Christmas.  The sentiment is true for me as well.  : )  In the cup is just regular black tea which paired nicely with this awesome dessert!  Recipe to follow.


Okay.  Hang on to your earrings, ladies.  Have I got a recipe for you!!!!!  We had friends over after church last Sunday and I made this for dessert.  We all took one bite and looked at each other.  It was a winner.  I KNOW you'll love it so I hope you try it and tell me what YOU think.  The only thing that I didn't realize is that I was treating it like a regular pie.  You know.  Cutting it into eight slices.  While eating, I was thinking that this is too rich to have this size of slice so I went and looked at the recipe and it says that it serves 12 to 16 people!!!!  So I made the slices WAY to big to eat at one sitting. is the recipe (which I got from


Crust:  either make your own Oreo crust out of 25 Oreos mixed with 5 Tbsp. of melted butter OR just buy (and always have on hand!) store-bought Oreo crusts.

*1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
*8 Tbsp. butter
*1 cup powdered sugar

*1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
*2 Tbsp. creamy peanut butter
*1/2 cup heavy cream

For the filling, whip the peanut butter and butter in a large bowl until smooth and creamy.  Add powdered sugar and mix until combined.  Pour into Oreo crust and smooth out with a spatula.

For the Ganache, heat heavy cream on medium-low heat until just boiling being careful not to burn the cream.  Pour over chocolate chips and peanut butter in a separate bowl and allow to rest for 1 minute.  Whisk together until smooth and pour over the top of the peanut butter layer.  Smooth over and try to make a pretty design on the top with a spatula.

Refrigerate at least two hours or overnight.  To cut, heat a knife under hot water, dry with a paper towel and repeat when needed.

Enjoy!!!  Seriously.  You've GOT to try this.  : )  


As always, I need something to work on so after finishing my last cross stitch project, I just had to begin another.  This is what I have so far:

It's just in the early stages but I love stitching houses so I started with that first.  I've said this before, but I usually pick out a "Pinker n' Punkin" design that are free to print out and then I make it my own.  I put motifs in different areas and add motifs and/or words of my own to it.  I'm so surprised that that Aida 14-count fabric looks off-white because what I'm stitching this on is a light green called "SPA" from Zweigart.  When I'm finished I'll try to get the full effect of the pretty fabric as well.  I'm using DMC floss in numbers 221, Blanc white, 223, 3345, 370, 3371, 801, 938, and 782.  I'm really liking it and it's been a joy to work on.

Other than that, I'm really trying to get to other crafty things like wool applique and embroidery.  I have a skirt that I need to cut and sew for the spring/summer, and a prayer shawl to keep knitting.  I love to be able to have a lot of different things to pick up and work on as the mood strikes.


Here is another "fear" verse for you.

From 2 Chronicles 20:17 - "You will not have to fight this battle.  Take up your positions, stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you..........Do not be afraid, do not be discouraged.  Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you."

Again, this is encouraging.  The Lord fights our battles and we all have battles.  I know mine, what is yours?  Give it to the Lord to fight them for you!  We all need to be delivered from something.  I do, how about you?  To not be afraid takes courage and trust that the Lord will handle what you have going on - joblessness, illness, loneliness, depression, are not alone.  Please remember that.  Ask Jesus for the help you need.  He will be there.

Well, I think that's it for today!  Thank you SO much for dropping by because I appreciate all of you and love hearing from you.  I hope you have a wonderful rest of the week and weekend ahead.  God bless.  : )


Monday, February 20, 2023

Hunkering Down For A Huge Storm


It's quite possible that we will have a repeat of this in a couple of days.

Hello ladies!  As the title of the post says.....we're expecting quite the snowstorm this week.  At first it was going to be about a foot of snow but I just checked again and if this storm stays on track (which I'm hoping it doesn't) we could get up to 25 inches of snow by Friday.  For someone who is pretty much done with winter right now and especially the ice and snow, this isn't good news.  My poor husband.  He's the one with the snow blower and will probably remove snow for three of our neighbors as well.  The ONLY up-side to all of this is that it won't be frigid, but then with mild temps means the snow is going to be wet and heavy, so I'm not sure if I can see anything positive about it!!  LOL

I hope you all have been okay since I last posted.  I've been doing a bit of organizing - especially clothes and accessories.  I went through my shoes and put them in order.  I went through my wardrobe and found only one thing that doesn't fit and will be giving that away but then put my clothes in order going from jeans, to skirts, to jackets and sweaters, to blouses, and then lastly clothes that I only wear when I garden or do other messy work.  I then went to my scarves and belts and purses and organized those, noting that I need to replace my dark brown purse and then went on to clean out the purse I use all the time.  Lastly, I went through jewelry.  I'm not a big necklace person but I do love my earrings (and they have to be silver)!  So I sorted through them as well and tossed two pairs that looked pretty rough, again noting that I should replace at least one of those pair since they were a classic hoop.

I've been starting to shop for Spring/Summer clothes.  That part of my closet is pretty sparse probably because we tend to pull out the cold weather clothes in October and wear them until April, so I don't buy a lot for the warmer weather.  I found a couple of pretty tops but will have to go to the consignment store and see if I can find some skirts.  When the warm weather comes I like my skirts and dresses.  To say that I don't like clothes shopping is an understatement!!!!  I put it off until I can't anymore.

Well in hoping to stick with my new format, I will begin with a book that I finished a couple of weeks ago:


The Willows in Winter

The bread is Lemon Blueberry and the recipe will be below.  The pretty cup and saucer has a little story behind it.  When our son was little, his aunt and uncle were very thoughtful and took him shopping for occasions such as Father's Day, Mother's Day, birthdays, and Christmas.  We would give him a little money so that while they were out and he saw something he could buy it for us.  Well, ninety-nine percent of the time, aunt and uncle had to "add to" the amount we gave because he kept picking out items that were a little on the pricey side!  He, as a grown man, STILL has good taste.  LOL  So, this pretty cup and saucer was a Mother's Day gift from him when he was about 6 or 7.  And the tea I'm drinking is just plain old green tea because I think it pairs so well with the lemon bread.  : )

Now.....on to The Willows in Winter.  Have you read "The Wind in the Willows"?  Well this is a sequel to that written by William Horwood and illustrated by Patrick Benson.  I absolutely loved this book.  You would think that it's a children's book (and it can be) but I think adults would greatly enjoy this as well.  It was a book that I couldn't wait to get to after putting it down.  If you've read the Wind in the Willows you will know the characters by now - Mole, Badger, Otter, Rat, and the VERY naughty Toad.  Well, the character's are back.  Mole gets into trouble during a terrible snow storm and some of the others feel they need to risk their lives in search of him and all that encompasses.  Everyone thinks Toad has changed from his naughty self but proves that he has not and puts others in harm and gets into all sorts of trouble which he does get out of in the end.  You wouldn't think a book like this - one with animals as the main characters - would be exciting reading, but I thought it was.  It is a book about how far one would go to take care of a friend.  It is also a book about forgiveness no matter how frustrating, irritating, and exasperating a friend might be.  

If you were reading to a child (I would say middle school) there are lots of lessons to learn and things to talk about.  Only you, as a parent or grandparent, will know how much you want to talk about.  Towards the end of the book Toad drinks a little too much and acts silly and says silly things so some might not want to venture into that, but as an adult (even though I don't condone drinking to get drunk) I can read it and get through it and just know that's how the author wanted this certain chapter to go.  

I do understand that a lot of adults don't like reading these kinds of books, but if you do like a fanciful book that you will find very entertaining (and frustrating at times), I recommend it.  It was a fun read.


Lemon Blueberry Bread

This is very good.  It's a recipe from the "Taste of Home" archives and it's lemony and moist.  Quick to put together and enjoyed by all.  : )


1/3 cup butter, melted
1 cup sugar
3 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup 2% milk
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
2 Tbsp. grated lemon zest


2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/4 cup powdered sugar

In a large bowl, beat the butter, sugar, lemon juice and eggs.  Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; stir into egg mixture alternately with milk, beating well after each addition.  Fold in the blueberries and lemon zest.

Transfer to a greased 8 x 4-in loaf pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 60-70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack.

Combine glaze ingredients and drizzle over warm bread.  Cool completely.

YUMMY!  : )  Hope you give it a try.  I think this would be excellent in the Spring.  Maybe for an Easter gathering?


Mostly, I've been cross stitching.  I just so wanted to get my sampler done and I did!

From last time I added the borders, a couple more flower buds, and four birds on the bottom.  I'm very pleased with it and it was so fun to do.  I have several finished cross stitched pieces that need to be framed.  I think that's my next thing to learn how to do.  Framing is WAY to expensive at the stores so I need to learn!  I've already started another stitch-y piece and will show you the progress on my next post.

While snowed in this week, I'll see if I can get to some other things as well.  I have pulled out all my gardening books and notebook and want to read those and plan gardens while the snow rages on!  : )


This is another "fear" verse for you and it's one of my favorites.  It's from Deuteronomy 20:3 -

*"Do not be fainthearted or afraid; do not be terrified or give way to panic.....For the Lord your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you......."

Isn't that wonderful?!  I don't know about you, but I've experienced panic attacks and they are frightening.  Here we are told not to give way to it.  Not only that - the Lord God goes WITH us and fights for us.  There are times when I feel so totally alone in what I'm going through, what I'm thinking.  But it is amazing that the Lord God is right there and He fights the battles for us.  Wow.  Thank you, Lord, for your word, for your promises, for your help, for your care, for your love, for your protection!  

I hope this encourages you to hang in there and to call upon the name of Jesus when you are fearful.  He'll be right there with you.  God bless all of you this week and I hope to see you soon!!!!